The UC Davis Olive Center’s Dan Flynn, second from right, stands alongside Juan Gómez, rector of the University of Jaén, during the award ceremony in Castillo de Canena, the castle after which the olive oil company is named. Also pictured are company owne

The UC Davis Olive Center’s Dan Flynn, second from right, stands alongside Juan Gómez, rector of the University of Jaén, during the award ceremony in Castillo de Canena, the castle after which the olive oil company is named. Also pictured are company owners Franscisco Vañó, left, general manager; and Rosa Vañó, commercial manager.

Picnic Day olive oil

The UC Davis Olive Center will have three olive oil tasting table locations and two special deals on Picnic Day, this Saturday (April 16): $10 per bottle of Gunrock, Silo and Roasted Garlic olive oils, and $15 for Estate (made completely from olives grown on campus). Here are the locations:

  • Memorial Union, South Patio
  • Vanderhoef Quad (Alumni Zone)
  • Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science (courtyard)

You can buy olive oil at the MU and RMI tasting locations (cash or check only). No sales at the table on Vanderhoef Quad, but the Welcome Center gift store is right across the street — and you can buy olive oil there.

The UC Davis Olive Center recently co-chaired an international research competition, judging the event alongside experts from the University of Jaén, located in southwestern Spain at the center of the world’s largest olive-producing region.

The Spanish olive-oil company Castillo de Canena sponsors the competition, which is held every two years and culminates with the awarding of the Luis Vañó Prize, named after the company’s founder.

The 6,000-Euro prize  (about $6,830) went to a research team at Spain’s University of Córdoba,for a study on using a naturally occurring fungus as an organic control for the olive fruit fly, a pest that can cause up to a 40-percent loss in olive production. The researchers found that use of the fungus could decrease the fly’s population density by 50 percent.

The University of Jaén collaborates with Castillo de Canena on the competition, which this year extended its international reach by bringing in UC Davis to help with judging.

The UC Davis judges: Dan Flynn, executive director of the Olive Center; Selina Wang, the center’s research director and an adjunct professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology; Louise Ferguson, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences; and Elda Vitanovic, an entomologist and Fulbright Scholar from the University of Split and the Institute for Adriatic Crops and Karst Reclamation, both in Split, Croatia.

Flynn joined the president of the University of Jaén in presenting the award to the winning research team during an April 7 ceremony at the castle owned by Castillo de Canena.